Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Thursday, April 14, 2022
April is alcohol awareness month. 95,000 people die from excessive alcohol use in the U.S. each year.
Learn more at: www.cdc.gov/alcohol
|Weekly Wellness Update - April is alcohol awareness month|
Friday, April 1, 2022
|weekly FPS COVID-19 dashboard|
From the MA DPH report we share: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-interactive-data-dashboard-
|From the MA DPH report|
For the Town of Franklin COVID-19 Health Dept report -> https://www.franklinma.gov/health-department/webforms/covid-19-dashboard-portal
|Town of Franklin COVID-19 Health Dept|
Thursday, February 17, 2022
"February's National Health Observance is Heart Disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. Learn how to reduce your risk at: https://www.heart.org/"
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|Health Department update: National Health Observance - heart disease|
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
"Why Public Health Faces a Crisis Across the U.S."
"State and local public health departments across the country have endured not only the public’s fury, but widespread staff defections, burnout, firings, unpredictable funding and a significant erosion in their authority to impose the health orders that were critical to America’s early response to the pandemic.While the coronavirus has killed more than 700,000 in the United States in nearly two years, a more invisible casualty has been the nation’s public health system. Already underfunded and neglected even before the pandemic, public health has been further undermined in ways that could resound for decades to come. A New York Times review of hundreds of health departments in all 50 states indicates that local public health across the country is less equipped to confront a pandemic now than it was at the beginning of 2020."
Saturday, October 2, 2021
"The United States owes its existence as a nation partly to an immunization mandate.In 1777, smallpox was a big enough problem for the bedraggled American army that George Washington thought it could jeopardize the Revolution. An outbreak had already led to one American defeat, at the Battle of Quebec. To prevent more, Washington ordered immunizations — done quietly, so the British would not hear how many Americans were sick — for all troops who had not yet had the virus.It worked. The number of smallpox cases plummeted, and Washington’s army survived a war of attrition against the world’s most powerful country. The immunization mandate, as Ron Chernow wrote in his 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Washington, “was as important as any military measure Washington adopted during the war.”
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)"For the most part, people are looking for answers, but the cards are stacked against them in this digital world. Every health care provider has had that one ardent unvaccinated conspiracy theorist who refused to believe that COVID is real despite showing them their trashed lungs on the CT scan, all while they’re on high-flow oxygen. Anecdote holding the power that it does, that patient runs the risk of coloring our perception of all unvaccinated patients in this same light. But, instead, my charge to health care providers is this: Take a meaningful pause and ask, “How did this person get to this point?” And understand that their condition is in part due to the challenges of the common person trying to understand complex medical science and being influenced by those with alternative agendas.That same night, I diagnosed a young woman, with three young kids, with lung cancer. She was a smoker, and she knew that smoking can cause cancer. How is her situation any different from an unvaccinated person with COVID? How many of us would stand at the bedside in her tragic hour and berate her for smoking? How many of us would, upon learning of someone’s death from cancer, say flatly, “Served her right”? If she said. “I didn’t think it would happen to me,” would anyone really say, “Whelp, I hope you survive” as we walked out the room? These are statements I have heard said to or about unvaccinated COVID patients in a recent week. Clearly, this does nothing to foster that trusted relationship between a physician and their patient.When I asked my unvaccinated COVID patient what was keeping him from getting the shot, he said he had read online that the vaccine gets into your DNA and he was afraid of what that would mean. So I sat down on his bed and spent a few minutes drawing a picture of a cell and nucleus, and explained in simple terms how mRNA works and why his DNA is not at risk. His next question was, “How soon can I get the vaccine?” He then called his kids and told them the same, and they asked where they could get the vaccine. While not successful in every encounter, I’m optimistic about the ripple effect that these little wins may have. And damn it if we don’t need a win now and again. In our most fundamental charge, “doctor” means “teacher.” This is the year where we understand. This is the year where we teach."
|Anti-vaccination protesters near Los Angeles City Hall on Aug. 14. Earlier that week, the City Council voted to require proof of vaccination to enter many public indoor spaces in the city. DAVID MCNEW/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES|
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
More than 20 religious, educational, medical, and public health organizations support the Community Immunity Act including:
- American Federation of Teachers – MA Chapter
- Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA)
- Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)
- League of Women Voters
- Massachusetts Association of Health Boards
- Massachusetts Association of Health Offices
- Massachusetts Association of School Committees
- Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
- Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners
- Massachusetts Health Council
- Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association
- Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association
- Massachusetts Infectious Diseases Society
- Massachusetts Nurses Association
- Massachusetts Medical Society
- Massachusetts School Based Health Alliance
- Massachusetts Teachers Association
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners – MA Chapter
- National Association of Social Workers – MA Chapter
- Progressive Mass
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Boston Globe: "Local officials say Baker is failing to invest in state’s broken public health system"
"Local public health officials were excited when the Baker administration recently announced a modest grant program to help beleaguered towns and cities be better prepared for the next pandemic. For the first time in decades, they said, the state was investing new money on the front lines of disease prevention.But then came Governor Charlie Baker’s announcement on Thursday that not a single dollar out of $2.8 billion in federal pandemic relief funding he plans to allocate would go toward public health programs. Instead, he said, the money would be used to ease the state’s housing crunch and other priorities.Now, some of the same leaders who were praising the administration days ago are lamenting what they say is Baker’s shortsightedness. They believe the governor is missing a historic opportunity to make a dramatic new investment in the state’s tattered public health system."
Sunday, March 28, 2021
FM #501 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 501 in the series.
This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Health Director Cathleen Liberty on March 17, 2021. We had our conversation via virtual conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
"Should we still call it ‘commuter’ rail?"
"The MBTA is launching a fairly radical change to its commuter rail operations on April 5, running fewer trains at the traditional morning and evening peaks and spreading service out at regular intervals over the course of the day – what some call regional rail.
On the Framingham-Worcester line, trains currently depart from Worcester for Boston at 5:30 a.m., 7 a.m., and 8:50 a.m. and then run at roughly two-hour intervals the rest of the day. Under the new approach starting April 5, the first train from Worcester will depart at 4:15 a.m., the next train at 5 a.m., and then trains will depart every hour on the hour for the rest of the day until 7 p.m. The three late-night trains will depart at 8:20, 9:20, and 10:20.
The idea behind the scheduling experiment is that COVID has disrupted ridership patterns. No one is quite sure what riders will want in the future, but the feeling is that they will no longer rigidly commute into work in the morning and return in the evening. They want more flexibility and greater frequency. And they want schedules that are easy to remember."
"WHEN THE MASSACHUSETTS COVID-19 Command Center calculates how many people are eligible for vaccinations in each of the state’s three phases, there’s a problem: The total number is 1 million more adults than actually live in the state.The main reason is that the state is double counting many individuals in these estimates.As a result, while the Command Center has said an estimated 2.55 million people could become eligible for vaccinations in the final group – generally healthy people between ages 16 and 55 who are not essential workers – the uncertainty in the numbers raises the possibility that the final group may be smaller than expected."
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Senator Becca Rausch.
Last meet/recorded Aug 14, 2020 on the Franklin Town CommonHow are you doing?
Priorities this yearVaccine equity/ post pandemicVoting rights
This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.
How can you help?
- If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
- If you don't like something here, please let me know
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.
I hope you enjoy!
You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"
|Senator Becca Rausch (Twitter profile image)|
Sunday, March 14, 2021
by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 03/14/2021
While recording a recent session of our weekly radio program ‘More Perfect Union’ I noted a reaction from our roundtable panelists to my somewhat casual comment. We were discussing the nettlesome issues around the vaccine rollout. I was not criticizing either Charlie Baker or Joe Biden. I was addressing the unprecedented enormous challenges they are facing.
The key word to keep in mind: unprecedented.
The challenges of the pandemic are indeed unprecedented in scope.
When scrambling to address today’s emergency today, it’s almost impossible to fully anticipate the downstream emergent needs of tomorrow. “Warp Speed” was a simplistic response – throw some money at the private sector and hope. The science came through, but it wasn’t backed with a forward plan for the follow-on logistics.
Administering the three vaccines will require ≈450MM (million) doses to ≈300MM willing Americans. (Yes, I’m more than willing.) At 5 minutes per, that’s ≈37.5MM person/hours or ≈4.7MM 8-hour days. That means between now and mid-June we need at least ≈52 thousand trained personnel working 7 days/week. No slack time.
A best-case working assumption – 15 workers per site. (Clearly not the case.) This means that vaccines must be distributed timely as needed to ≈4K sites. Logistics. Considering small sites with 1 or more workers – it’s more like ≈20 thousand sites? That’s how Biden’s team estimated a need for 20K pharmacies and health centers. The President’s team clearly understands logistics, science and math.
Joe also recently arranged to stockpile vaccine for all Americans who want it by the end-of May. Now the challenge is getting that vaccine into arms. They are ramping up and organizing that Herculean effort as quickly as possible. The challenge? Create a temporary national organization having 50 thousand trained staff. All hands on deck who can vaccinate – from dentists to optometrists; from EMT’s to midwives; from veterans to veterinarians.
SoW – The Scope-of-Work: The pandemic – It’s big. It’s complex. It’s also unstable. We’re asking the Biden administration to work a miracle. He promised 100 million doses in arms in 100 days. A reasonable goal, It got done by day 60. Recall that when Joe took office, he asked us all to mask up for 100 days. A reasonable request. Are we all doing our part?
During our radio session I quipped – Good, Fast. Cheap. Pick two.
You want Good & Fast? It won’t be Cheap.
You want Fast & Cheap? It won’t be Good.
You want Good & Cheap? It won’t be Fast.
A corollary observation about shaping the scope of any endeavor. When it’s all over you’ll get to explain one thing:
High Expense Why it costs so much.
Poor Quality Why it works so bad. (-and/or looks so ugly.)
Late Timing Why it’s not done yet.
The first is often the easiest to explain. We are attempting to accelerate the pace, to literally buy time. In this case, time is not only money; it’s also lives. We are in an urgent fight to save lots of lives. We’re scrambling to save our national economy and personal livelihoods. Time is not on our side, yet we have no other choice but to fight the good fight. Time is a terrible taskmaster. We the electorate also can be terrible taskmasters, seeking affordable, instant perfection from political leaders.
The total $6,000,000,000,000.00 (trillion) government bailout cost will average $1,700.00 in annualized per capita cost for every single American over the next decade. That’s $7,000.00/year for a family of four. Scope.
Consider these numbers as well:
Annual U.S. Domestic Product: $21,000,000,000,000.00
The Federal Government runs on $3,360,000,000,000.00 (16% of GDP.)
The Feds spent almost 2X their annual budget trying to save us. That’s – um, a lot? More specifically, it raises the total projected Fed budget to 19% GDP for a decade. Now, to be perfectly unclear, if all the economists were laid out end-to-end, they wouldn’t reach a conclusion. ( – unknown) Economics is known as the dismal science, and I’m pretty dismal at it. Thus, I can’t opine as to how our national economy will absorb the cost and continue to grow. However, that too, is actually possible.
Hopefully, it will grant us all brighter days ahead.
But, for now – the cost of salvation is dear, non-negotiable, but absolutely necessary.
And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm.
And, thank you for watching.
Listen to "Toward A More Perfect Union" on Monday’s at 11 AM, 2 PM and 8 PM at wfpr.fm or 102.9 on the local area dial.
|Franklin TV: Scope - This is huge!|
Thursday, December 17, 2020
"The first shots against the coronavirus made their way into the arms of eager front line health care workers nationwide this week, providing a glimmer of hope for a post-pandemic world. But once those volunteers are all vaccinated, some workers who are less excited about the vaccine could face mandates to receive it anyway, public health and legal experts say.
For now, doses of the newly authorized Pfizer vaccine are in short supply and have not yet been approved for use in children or pregnant women, meaning any potential mandates are likely still months or more away. But while President-elect Joe Biden has said he doesn’t support a vaccine mandate, in the future, private businesses, schools, and perhaps even states and localities could require the shots for those who don’t qualify for religious or medical exemptions.
“I absolutely envisage that, say, by the fall, when students are coming back to universities and when businesses are coming back and we want to get our economy on track, that there will be requirements for students and employees to be vaccinated,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law specializing in public health law."
Friday, November 20, 2020
From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:
"THE NUMBER of communities considered high risk for COVID-19 doubled again this week, while the number of deaths statewide continued to creep upward at a much slower pace.
Three weeks ago the Baker administration revised the metrics it uses to determine a high-risk community, which caused the number to drop from 121 to 16. Since then, the number of high-risk, or red, communities has started rising again, going from 16 three weeks ago to 31 a week ago to 62 on Thursday.
Lawrence, where state and local officials have been trying for weeks to rein in the disease, continued to slip out of control. The municipality reported a whopping 108.1 cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks and a positive test rate (positive tests divided by total tests) of 13.01 percent. Last week, Lawrence was at 82.6 cases per 100,000 people with a positive test rate of 11.78 percent."
Continue reading the article online https://commonwealthmagazine.org/health/red-communities-double-lawrence-cases-keep-rising/
The Franklin case numbers continue to climb rapidly. The Town chart updated as of 11/18/20 shows 104, the State chart updated 11/19/20 shows 116. https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-november-19-2020/download
|The Franklin COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb rapidly|
Sunday, September 13, 2020
"Joe Biden has created a war-cabinet-in-waiting on the coronavirus pandemic, with major figures from the Obama, Clinton and George H.W. Bush administrations drafting plans for distributing vaccines and personal protective gear, dramatically ramping up testing, reopening schools and addressing health-care disparities.The effort began six months ago when the campaign consulted David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents Bush and Bill Clinton, and Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general under President Barack Obama, on how to run a presidential campaign during a pandemic.The pair, along with a growing cadre of volunteer health experts, has been working behind the scenes to craft plans that could take effect Jan. 20, when the next president will take the oath of office, said Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser on the Biden campaign.
Biden has laid out a far more muscular federal approach than has President Trump, whose “failures of judgment” and “repeated rejection of science” the Democrat first pilloried in a Jan. 27 op-ed about the crisis. Biden has said that he would urge state and local leaders to implement mask mandates if they are still needed, create a panel on the model of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s War Production Board to boost testing, and lay out detailed plans to distribute vaccines to 330 million people after they are greenlighted as safe and effective."